Monday, January 18, 2010

Unfriending Family

I received a very interesting email from a friend today and she had this to share:
My sister and I have a difficult relationship. She has always looked for some level of approval from me that I cannot ever seem to produce. So, everything I say or do is suspect to being an insult or lack of regard for her. Last Monday, I sent her a bouquet of Spring flowers and a big mylar balloon for her birthday (she loves to get these type of things!). However, she didn't like the bouquet (it wasn't big enough and in her words "looked like a $5.99 bouquet from Krogers) and was insulted with only one balloon and a card that wasn't hand written. I had spent $60!! (I had sent the bouquet through 1-800-FLOWERS...usually a very reliable company).

So, I had another bouquet sent to her. But, too late. She had already unfriended me from Facebook.

She suggested this would be a good question of the day, and I agree:

Have you ever unfriended (or been unfriended) on Facebook by a family member? If you aren't on Facebook, you can just substitute an unfriending experience in the real world.

My brother used to tease me when I was a child. I finally decided I didn't want anything to do with him so I quit speaking to him. I was maybe 5 or 6. This went on for months, and then as I got older, he moved away. He would have been about 20 at that time. It got to a point, by the time I was in my teens, that it was very awkward to be around him because how do you not speak to a family member?

I was in my mid- to late-teens before I started making an effort, and it was only when I absolutely had to. It was just so difficult to start communicating with someone again after that long lapse dating back to childhood.

The internet and email have certainly facilitated communication again.. now that I'm 49! Strange.

Pertaining to Facebook, it's hard to know when someone unfriends you if it was intentional on their part or a Facebook glitch. I've seen both happen (unless the people who unfriended me weren't being honest about it). I don't have any family on Facebook anyway. As close as it gets are two guys who are cousins to my cousin. I've known them since we were children so they are like family in a way.

I noticed one of them disappeared from my friend list. He also happens to be the one who is rather hardcore into his Christianity. I guess my status updates got to be a bit too much for him. But if I make someone uncomfortable for whatever reason, or someone is ashamed and afraid some of their friends will see a status and be offended, then I don't care if they leave.

But if you are family, and I send you flowers, or even if you are just a friend, you'd better not complain that the bouquet wasn't large enough. It'll be the last thing you get from me!

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